Your Cheat Sheet To What To Wear At The Gym Today

Engineered garments focus athletic performance.
IMAGE Nike; Jabra; Samsung; Adidas

Not saying you should step into the gym looking like a worldwide famous athlete with a generous sportswear endorsement that keeps you in the freshest workout threads, but you should be attired properly for what you are about to do. 

As with all endeavors, from attending a wedding to going on a first date, what you wear matters. And when it comes to completing your run or ramping up your metcon (that's metabolic conditioning for noobs), clothes become even more crucial as, with features made specifically for moving, they help you focus on that lift or cycle or whatever your preferred action for getting in fighting shape. 

Here's what to consider when choosing your new workout wear. 

Things that breathe and move

FreeLift Climachill Tee (P2,195) by Adidas



Under Armour UA Tech Mesh Shorts (P1,795) at Zalora

One easy way to improve your athletic performance is by choosing clothing that breathes and moves: Fabrics that push out heat or shed sweat keep you comfortable even as you ramp up the intensity of your workout, while intelligent construction eliminates the niggles—shirts lifting up (oops, your belly!) or sleeves getting caught—that distract you from, say, reaching the heart rate goal of an intense HIIT session.


But what about my favorite DIY T-shirt that is very comfortable?
We'll give you a pass on this one because we've all done it. That worn-out T-shirt, whose sleeves you've hacked off, does provide a degree of comfort and maneuverability, and if that's what it takes to get you into the gym, then wear it.

Just make sure that you don't like a man that's been ravaged by a wild animal or a person ready for bedtime. If we can almost see your naked body, it's a no go.

The best accessories are really optional
As in the realm beyond sports, workout accessories add functionality or flavor to your attire. These can include:  

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Sport Pulse Special Edition by Jabra

Game changers like a pair of Bluetooth headphones that frees up your hands (and don't sound like crap now). 


Gear Sport by Samsung

High-tech stuff like smartwatches that measure your heart rate (and track your calories!)


Destroyer Training Gloves by Nike


Or very specific paraphernalia like training gloves that provide better grip (and also keep calluses at bay)

These are useful, but also optional. You will not not be able to workout if you don't have the special gloves. (But maybe you have to go back home if you forgot your headphones?)

We would like to make a special endorsement for the workout cap

Clasic Lost & Found Cap by Reebok

Because it keeps your sweaty hair in place, leaving you with one less thing to worry about. When you're dying on your last set of squats, a cap on your head will keep you from looking like a goblin. Dad caps are perfectly fine.

And now, what to wear underneath all that 


Performance Support Tights (P990) by Uniqlo


Men have moved on from jockstraps to compression tights for supposedly good reasons other than the awkwardness of baring bums in the locker room. Compression tech, according to its manufacturers, improves athletic performance by supporting muscles, increasing blood circulation, and reducing post-workout recovery. 

Or it may not! Nevertheless, modern sports enthusiasts, including basketball gods like Stephen Curry and LeBron, wear these huggers. At the very least, they hold everything up, making you look more sculpted than you really are. (The confidence derived from looking good may actually help you perform better.)

But what we don't want to see are men wearing just compression tights or shorts. Please spare the eyeballs of your gym population by wearing a pair of shorts over these skintight garments. 


Hey, where are the shoes?

CrazyPower Trainer Shoes (P6,495) by Adidas


Because your feet is the foundation upon which your body stands, walks, runs, and jumps, you need a technical shoe that will both hold them and love them. We're telling you now that these will be the most expensive piece in your rig, but they're really an investment. 


When you're wife raises an eyebrow over a pair that cost P7,000, show her the math. Say you work out three times a week for the entire year, you'll be wearing your shoes 156 times. That makes it around P45 per wear. 

If she's still giving you hell, wait for a sale, which should be often as trainers are churned out every season. It's okay to get the previous model. Click here for the best footwear for every kind of athletic activity.

A quick note on colors, patterns, and logos

Swoosh Training T-Shirt by Nike

Maybe you have these pair of training shoes and they have a sliver of neon green rounding out their corners. That green is in a crazy, can't-miss, acid-trip shade not found in nature, and to be honest, it made you experience a minor case of buyer's remorse when you got home. 

But, hey, when you put it on, the unapologetic color gave you a boost of energy. Bright and loud, it said, “go,” “don't stop,” and “do it now.”  


The lesson here is: It's okay to wear color. As long as there's only one wild thing happening on your person, whether it's a logo that proclaims “you can do it” or graphic panels running on the sides of your T-shirt, you're fine.

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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